Bundesliga 2019/20: Schalke vs Wolfsburg - tactical analysis tactics

For love nor money, Schalke 04 do not appear to be able to buy a win in the Bundesliga.

The once-feared German outfit languishes at the bottom of the table with just four points from their 12 games so far, although each of those points have been picked up in four draws.

For anyone who has been following Schalke 04’s demise, though, will realise that their troubles started at the beginning of the restart of last season’s interrupted campaign when David Wagner was still in charge.

Indeed, the Gelsenkirchen outfit’s fortunes on the pitch have been so bad that they have gone on a run that has seen them play 28 matches consecutively without a victory in the league. Indeed, the run makes for a huge talking point amongst bettors, with many using no ID bookmakers to place bets on when they think the run could come to an end or whether it will continue.

The club have decided to act on it once again as they have fired Manuel Baum – who had replaced Wagner just a few months ago – and have turned to a former manager in Huub Stevens to try and stop the rot.

The Dutchman will be heading into his fourth stint as manager of Schalke 04 with this tenure and will take charge of the final two games of 2020.

Following a 2-0 defeat to Freiburg at home, the pressure has already been put on the team as sporting director Jochen Schneider has already said that their match against Arminia Bielefeld is of “huge significance”.

“The disappointing performance against Freiburg showed us that the team needs a new impulse,” Schneider said.

Stevens and his assistant, Mike Buskens, will be taking charge of first-team affairs for their matches against Bielefeld and Ulm, which is a DFB Pokal Cup game that is scheduled to take place on Tuesday.

Indeed, this is not the first time that Stevens has been tasked with trying to save the club from the Bundesliga drop.

Just last year, the 67-year-old was handed the job to steer Schalke 04 away from the relegation zone between March and July. His first spell in charge at the Gelsenkirchen outfit was rather successful, as he managed to lift the 1997 UEFA Cup title during the six years (1996-02) that he spent at the helm.

Baum had only managed to remain in charge of the club for just 10 games after he replaced Wagner after he was initially tasked with the role of stopping the rot following an 18 game run without winning that included heavy defeats such as their 8-0 loss to Bayern Munich in the opening game of the 20/21 Bundesliga season.

There has already been some suggestion about who could succeed Stevens at the turn of the year, with former Fortuna Dusseldorf coach Friedhelm Funkel in the running.